Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Marine Le Pen Fiddles as Europe Burns

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested over the weekend and accused of very serious crimes. Like all people in free countries he is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and bluntly this isn't a law blog. This is a politics blog and innocent or guilty M. Strauss-Kahn is dead in the water politically. This presents a new political landscape for French politics and current French President Nicolas Sarkozy. While Strauss-Kahn would have been hard-pressed to oppose the bailouts of weaker EU partners like Greece and Portugal, his next strongest opponent is vehemently opposed. Marine Le Pen, who succeeded her father Jean-Marie Le Pen as leader of Front National now finds herself well placed to repeat her father's shock second place finish in the 2002 presidential race when he edged out the Socialists to claim a spot in the run off.

While the robotic Mme Royal is gone, the options for socialist leadership go down hill dramatically after Strauss-Kahn. The frontrunner no is the runner-up to Mme. Royal last time out Martine Aubry who holds the dubious distinction of losing, albeit barely, to Segolene Royal. The socialists in France have been in the political wilderness for a decade and Mme. Aubry does not appear to be the woman to lead them back. This leads the door open to the kinder, gentler racist xenophobe: Marine Le Pen. This is still Front National we're talking about but Marine Le Pen doesn't have quite the same evil look that her father did. She might make people forget for a couple minutes that the party she represents still supports deporting unemployed immigrants even if she doesn't believe in deporting all immigrants anymore. The point of all this is that if Sarko believes that his principal opposition in 2012 is from Mme. Le Pen he might start cooling even further to any more money for Euro-delinquents. Yet another reason why the Front National is a bad thing. In case you needed one.

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